Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the ‘London Streetspace’ programme to accommodate a potential ten-fold increase in cycling and five-fold increase in walking when lockdown restrictions are eased.
Transport for London (TfL) said it will rapidly repurpose London’s streets to serve the expected surge in demand as part of a major new strategic shift. The temporary schemes will then be reviewed and could become permanent.
'Early modelling by TfL has revealed there could be more than a 10-fold increase in kilometres cycled, and up to five times the amount of walking, compared to pre-COVID levels, if demand returns,' City Hall said.
TfL, working with London’s boroughs, will make changes to focus on three key areas:
- The rapid construction of a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials, including new routes aimed at reducing crowding on Underground and train lines, and on busy bus corridors.
- A complete transformation of local town centres to enable local journeys to be safely walked and cycled where possible.
- Reducing traffic on residential streets, creating low-traffic neighbourhoods right across London to enable more people to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine.
Mr Khan said: 'The capacity of our public transport will be dramatically reduced post-coronavirus as a result of the huge challenges we face around social distancing. Everyone who can work from home must continue to do so for some time to come. The emergency measures included in our major strategic London Streetspace programme will help those who have to travel to work by fast-tracking the transformation of streets across our city.
'By quickly and cheaply widening pavements, creating temporary cycle lanes and closing roads to through traffic we will enable millions more people to change the way they get around our city.
'I urge the Government and boroughs to work with us to enable Londoners to switch to cleaner, more sustainable forms of transport.'
London Streetspace projects
- Creating new walking and cycling routes along major corridors, including temporary cycle lanes in Euston Road. TfL is also looking at creating temporary cycle lanes on Park Lane.
- Upgrades will also be made to existing routes including creating sections of temporary segregation from Merton to Elephant and Castle, and Pimlico to Putney.
- Space for cycling will be created between Catford town centre and Lewisham via the A21, and on the A23 between Oval and Streatham Hill.
- The Cycleway 9 scheme between Kensington Olympia and Brentford, and the Cycleway 4 scheme between Tower Hill and Greenwich will be accelerated with temporary measures so the Londoners can benefit from them more quickly.
- Widening more pavements in town centres to allow people to access local essential shops and services more easily. Pavements will be widened in more than 20 locations, including in Brixton and Earl’s Court in the coming days.
- Working to make walking and cycling in local neighbourhoods safer and more attractive by reducing the speed and volume of motor traffic. A low-traffic neighbourhood will be created in Hounslow along the future Cycleway 9 route by closing local roads to through traffic and further locations across London will follow.